With Albert Pujols winning the 2008 National League MVP award last year, he has the chance to defend his crown and go for his second straight MVP award in 2009.
However, Pujols will have very close company in the NL MVP chase this year and the usual suspects will probably be there again.
Here are my top five contenders for the NL MVP chase. (In no specific order.)
Here are some guys that could possibly be in the race and even win it:
Manny Ramirez, .332 BA, 37 HR, 37 RBI
Jose Reyes, .297 BA, 16 HR, 68 RBI
Miguel Cabrera, .292 BA, 37 HR, 127 RBI
Chase Utley, .292 BA, 33 HR, 104 RBI
Over his first two years in the show, Ryan Braun has totaled 71 HR, 203 RBI, and a .301 BA.
Expect Ryan Braun to keep up his excellent performance from the last two years and continue it in the 2009 season.
After a .301 BA, 33 HR, 67 RBI and 35 steals season, Ramirez was the No. 1 pick in most fantasy drafts across the nation, and he will be right up there in the 2009 NL MVP race.
Ramirez is a manager's dream: Home runs, RBI, batting average, and steals.
Jimmy Rollins was a player who had what some considered an off-year last season. After winning MVP in 2007, his numbers dropped dramatically. I don't expect the same to happen this year.
Expect a 20-plus homer season and at least 80 RBI with 30 steals from the Phillies' shortstop this year.
With the 2008 NL MVP added to his resume, Pujols is ready to defend his crown and make another charge at the 2009 award. In 2008, he amassed 37 HR, 116 RBI, and a .357 BA. No wonder he won MVP.
Here is my pick for the 2009 NL MVP Award. David Wright is a guy that's still on the rise, puts up big numbers every year, and is now known as one of the most dangerous hitters with the game on the line—just ask Puerto Rico.
In 2008, Wright stacked up 33 HR, 124 RBI, and a .302 BA. He doesn't show bad speed either with 15 stolen bases on the year. One of the best overall players in the game.